In order to learn more about how we can support impact-driven organisations in their scaling ambition, we spoke with Isabelle Hoyaux founder of ScaleChanger, Laurence Souloumiac who is one of ScaleChanger’s Scale Up Advisors, specifically in charge of International Development, and Gloria Ba, Right-Hand Woman of the organisation.
It is our greatest pleasure to welcome our newest member ScaleChanger – an organisation based in Paris, France and founded in 2014, which aims to work closely with social entrepreneurs and actors of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in France and internationally, to support them in the scaling of their impact.
Introducing our New Member
ScaleChanger contributes to the deployment of social innovations and aims to support the replication and scaling up of social innovations in Europe, Africa and Asia. Isabelle Hoyaux, founder of ScaleChanger is a qualified mathematician from Imperial College (UK) and began her career journey as a strategy consultant in Mergers and Acquisition, at L.E.K. in London. She completed her MBA in Social Entrepreneurship from ESSEC Business School and joined Unis-Cité, a charity which pioneered youth volunteer service in France. She later on moved to Right To Sight, an Irish NGO, to work between India and Africa to replicate the Aravind Eye Care, social enterprise model which allows people to gain access to quality affordable service. She then returned to France and ran an NGO called the ‘International Centre for Development & Research’ which led innovative programmes in local governance, agricultural enterprises, and microfinance, amongst others, in Africa. Gaining immense experience within the world of civil and social organisation industry, Isabelle founded ScaleChanger in 2014. Laurence joined the organisation earlier this year in February and her role is to mentor and advise organisations in scaling up. She oversees the international development front, with a clear focus on Africa and Europe and has worked in different sectors and levels in the scaling and replication of social innovations in the field of health, child protection and (higher) education. Lastly, Gloria joined ScaleChanger two years ago and is in charge of the organisation’s cross-functional projects. She supports the team in execution, communications, marketing, and carries out the impact evaluation assignments, amongst which the one of ScaleChanger’s missions in order to strive for continuous improvement of ScaleChanger’s support.
The rest of the ScaleChanger team is composed of seasoned scaling advisors and experts.
The idea behind ScaleChanger stemmed from Isabelle’s background as she noticed social innovations in France, as well as around the world having great impact but struggling to be at the level of the problems they were trying to tackle. Since there were a lot of communities facing the same challenges in different countries and entrepreneurs trying to solve them, Isabelle realised that organisations could benefit from one another, so as not to ‘reinvent the wheel’ as she described. Additionally, she determined the complexity around scaling as it can be hard to navigate since it requires an effective strategy, design and support – thus ScaleChanger was established. As social entrepreneurs cannot thrive if the ecosystem is not conducive, the organisation also works with different stakeholders such as Ministries and private funders to make ecosystems and legislation more favourable to scaling.
‘Scaling’ in the Eyes of ScaleChanger
We asked all three women how they define the term ‘scaling,’ to which they responded;
‘The aim is to grow substantially the impact of proven solutions. At ScaleChanger, we work on multiple strategies with social impact organisations to increase their impact. It can lead to a growth of the organisation. But we try to enforce the message that you can also grow your impact without necessarily growing your organisation, through open source/dissemination and social franchising approaches.’
The team works closely with organisations to assess whether they have the intended impact and put it into perspective with the ambition and mission of the organisation. Once this is determined, they support the organisation to find the best path to achieve the desired ambition, both at the strategic and operational levels. One of their specificities is to adopt a design approach, to test hypotheses and reach solid organisational and business models for scale.
Who the Organisation Works With
‘We work with any type of organisation as long as their core aim is to have a social or environmental impact. We feel more like a partner and a catalyst for the organisation we work with; we measure our success to theirs,’ says Isabelle.
ScaleChanger aims to bring knowledge and tools to organisations to help them make decisions.
‘When need be, we team up with other organisations and experts that can bring specific sectorial or geographical knowledge.’
Activities & Looking Ahead
ScaleChanger wishes to connect peers around the world, especially in Europe and to create more bridges at different levels between social enterprises. The organisation already does this through working within a wide variety of sectors such as social inclusion, environmental issues, gender equality and financing, and geographies (France, Europe, Africa and Asia). Moreover, ScaleChanger is currently working on disseminating and ‘scaling’ ScaleChanger! Through innovative and hybrid approaches, the organisation is expanding geographically its support and the team is currently testing out the model in two different countries.
‘We want to build and expand the scope of work that we do, and tailor it to meet social enterprise needs.’
‘The ecosystem is moving very fast – there is still a gap in making scaling easy and seamless for organisations, this is where we would like to contribute.’
ScaleChanger capitalises on the work they do, with the aim of building and sharing knowledge; the organisation actively works on publishing knowledge and developing tools to support social enterprises. They currently have two guidebooks: one on social franchise and the other on innovative business models (which are both in French however, out in English soon). Moreover, the organisation has designed a webapp called Scale Me Up to assess one’s readiness to scale, which is open to all and available on their website.
Collaborating with EN
We asked our interviewees what their intention was behind joining EN, to which they responded;
‘We feel like there is still so much to do, so much to scale and EN allows us to gain access to different partners in different geographies, together we can bring a lot of value to social enterprises and put energy into the future.’
We look forward to having ScaleChanger on board and working together to disseminate knowledge globally!